our closet.

January 14, 2015

sharing a closet - reading my tea leaves When I was 21, I spent a fall weekend babysitting for a set of adorable twins. We occupied ourselves during the day by taking long walks around the sleepy neighborhood where they lived, collecting leaves and pointing out pumpkins. We made festive snacks and the girls busied themselves with elaborate games of make-believe. On the first evening that I was there, after I tucked the girls into their tiny matching beds, I snuck back downstairs to tidy up from our day. With a box of blocks in my hand I reached for a closet door and as it swung open, I remember letting out an audible gasp. Stacked neatly onto shelves, or hung from hooks, or tucked into boxes labeled in the neat sans-serif of a newfangled label maker, every single thing in the closet was in impecable order. Nothing was thrown in haphazardly, there was no jumble of cords, no avalanche of stuffed animals, no basket overflowing with toys. It was pure closet perfection. sharing a closet - reading my tea leaves sharing a closet - reading my tea leaves sharing a closet - reading my tea leaves While I haven’t quite gotten to the point of investing in a label maker, ten years later I still fully appreciate the appeal of a closet that looks nearly as nice opened as it does closed. In our apartment, James and I share a closet. Our closet stays neat most of the time, mostly because there’s not an over-abundance of clothes crammed into it. But as if sharing a closet with your husband wasn’t enough, we have to make like many city dwellers and also share the space with our vacuum cleaner, ironing board, photo equipment, assorted cleaning supplies, an army of canvas totes, and other things that sometimes get in the way while reaching for a sweater.

To start the new year just a step ahead of fishing for the baby carrier in a frenzied dash out the door, I did a very mini reorganizing of our closet and spruced it up with a useful thing or two: a basket large enough to hide the baby carrier, diaper bag, and stroller rain cover; an additional set of wooden hangers for rounding out our collection; a shoe box to house James’s fancypants wedding shoes; a garment bag to protect our other fancy clothes; a few wire baskets for wrangling odds and ends; and a wooden ironing board to replace our incredibly sqeaky metal one (I’m tempted to keep this one displayed because it’s just so pretty). I concentrated on only adding things that could be repurposed elsewhere, or upgrading things that I knew I couldn’t do away with entirely (Goodbye, battered cardboard shoe box. Hello, canvas). And while it might not elicit audible gasps, now everything in our closet has a place of its own.

For a few more of my tips on keeping multi-functional closet organized, hop over to West Elm’s blog, Front + Main.

A huge thank you to West Elm for helping me to freshen up the place.

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  • Reply ariana January 14, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    This is beautiful, Erin! I don't even share my closet, but I've been having a difficult time keeping the teeny tiny space organized as it houses all my clothing (no dresser), shoes, bags, scarves, and a drawer that desperately needs to be cleaned out/done away with of odds and ends. I started a clothing clean-out and closet overhaul recently, and this was just the inspiration I needed to finish. Your minimalism series has been a life-saver, too, in the midst of an ongoing apartment sprucing 🙂

    • Reply Erin January 14, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      So glad to hear it! You can do it!

  • Reply Jami Yaeger January 14, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    I recently finished Marie Kondo's book and I see a lot of her methods here. Bravo!
    I'm going to be that person who asks where you purchased something. 😉 The wooden crates with dividers?! I've never seen them, but have been looking for something similar for our toddler's room. Thanks!

  • Reply Molly Meador January 14, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    An organized closet is heaven. I wish I could get my boyfriend to tidy his half!


    • Reply admin January 15, 2015 at 6:40 pm

      They're little deodorizing disks that I made to keep the diaper pail smelling nice (post in the archives!)

  • Reply Anonymous January 14, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    I have similar shoe boxes. I put placemats in one & winter hats & gloves in another. I always avoided West Elm but their organization supplies look affordable. I use the attachment to vacuum baskets because they tend to get dusty.

  • Reply Jo in London January 14, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    That is one very tidy and pretty wardrobe! Apologies for being nosy but what's in the jar of cleaning supplies?

    • Reply Erin January 15, 2015 at 6:40 pm

      They're little deodorizing disks that I made to keep the diaper pail smelling nice (post in the archives!)

  • Reply Anonymous January 14, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    Your closet looks awesome! I'm currently reading Marie Kondo's book (per your recommendation) so it's fun to see some organizational inspiration.

  • Reply Anna January 15, 2015 at 12:16 am

    That's a pretty ironing board. I have a wooden one, too, and am much happier with that than with the metal one I had before. Mine converts into a chair or a step-ladder, depending on which way it's tilted, so while it doesn't fold up as neatly, it does look really nice and is fairly compact, and when we need an extra, we have one. We have more space, so it usually just lives in the corner of the bedroom that doubles as my sewing area.

  • Reply Mae Chevrette January 15, 2015 at 12:26 am

    I also really appreciate your minimalism series! I'm far from a minimalist but all these tips are really helping me keep my little-ish Boston apartment pared down!

  • Reply asideofdessert January 15, 2015 at 3:28 am

    I want your closet! So well organized!

  • Reply Neurotic Workaholic January 15, 2015 at 4:44 am

    It's good to keep your closet organized so that everything has its own place, as you did; my closet is more cluttered and I'm always digging around trying to find stuff, though I did clear it out somewhat by giving away several bags of clothes to the Salvation Army.

  • Reply Anonymous January 15, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Fantastic post! Could you share your bed linen and towel storage solutions?! Thanks!

    • Reply Erin January 15, 2015 at 6:39 pm

      There's a small linen closet for those guys! In our old apartment, we kept extra towels (we only have two extras) rolled in the closet we shared there, and bed linens were tucked into a zipped storage bag under the bed!

  • Reply Hannah S January 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    I love your wire baskets and how easy it is to see into them. I cant believe you guys have so little hanging clothes, just my dresses would fill up that whole closet. I am should definitely work on minimizing my closet clothes. Thanks for the beautiful inspiration 🙂

  • Reply thefolia January 19, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Viva la organized closets. Even though the doors close, I need to know that everything has its place or else it's adios. Happy Nesting.

  • Reply w January 25, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Erin, I was thinking you never really properly showed us your kitchen in this new apartment, how you organize you pots and pans, cups and plates, the storage space, whether it's bigger or smaller than the last one… I would love to see that, I love your organizing tips and advice around the house and I'm really curious about your kitchen. Please, pretty please consider a future post on that, I would enjoy it so much. Thank you for this amazing blog you write, it's very inspiring and it makes you think about your own apartment and how to make it a more organized, minimalist and homey place.

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